So far this semester, it seems like the current trend is to get as much hands-on experience as possible. With that in mind, my friends and I headed down to the lab to learn something new and exciting. Today, our goal was to learn how to do CPR on animals and to get in some practice. However, instead of using live animals, we would be practicing on stuffed animals that were in permanent cardiac arrest.
After a brief demo, it was our turn to try it. A few of us gathered around a lab-sized stuffed dog and started compressing. With our elbows extended and our hands overlapping each other, each student practiced for two minutes, and then swapped out with the next person. The goal was to have 100 to 120 compressions per minute on the animal’s chest. Conveniently, that count correlates to the number of beats in a few songs. “Staying Alive” was suggested to coordinate our rhythm, which seemed very fitting for the tasks at hand. However, one of our teachers tended to look at things more pessimistically and suggested “Another One Bites The Dust” instead.
As we were trying to save our animal, the laboratory assistants walked around playing the song for us on their phones, trying to keep us on beat. Looking around the room, it was quite the sight to see everyone bobbing along to the song in unison.
While it didn’t seem like it was that hard to do, I’m sure on a live animal with a stiffer thorax, it will be much more difficult and strenuous to keep the compressions going. But at the same time, it was a fun lab and a great learning experience to introduce us to the procedure.